Australian author Tom Arden (b.1961) died on December 15. Arden was the pen name for David Rain. His first novel, The Harlequin’s Dance began his five book Orokon series. In addition, he wrote two stand alone novels and three pieces of short fiction, including a Doctor Who novella, “Nightdreamers.” Arden also published reviews in Interzone in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Romanian author Florin Manolescu (b.1943) died on December 13. Manolescu’s doctoral thesis, published as Literatura S.F., was the first dissertation on science fiction in Romania. From 1968-92, he taught at the University of Bucharest and then moved to Ruhr University until 2010, when he returned to Bucharest as a visiting professor. In addition to his scholarly works, Manolescu wrote numerous short stories which were collected in Misterul camerei închise, Mentaliștii, and Il Gatto e l’astronomo.
Nnedi Okorafor has been named the African Literary Person of the Year for the many ways Africa inspires her innovative story telling. The African Literary Person of Year Award celebrates the writer who has taken the lead in challenging and, in the process, expanding our assumptions about what it means to be an African writer and what it means to speak of a story as African.
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Editor and author Perry Chapdelaine (b.1925) died on November 24. Chapdelaine is best known for editing two collections of the letters of John W. Campbell, Jr. He also published his own fiction in the 1960s and 70s, including The Laughing Terran, Spork of the Ayor, and Swampworld West, until he began suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Chapdelaine wrote for the Arthritis Foundation of America using the pseudonym Anthony di Fabio.
Two Tiptree Fellowships have been announced. The Fellowships, established earlier this year, are to recognize writers, artists, scholars, media makers, remix artists, performers, musicians, or something else entirely. They are given for work that is changing the way we think about gender through speculative narrative. The first two Fellows are Walidah Imarisha and Elizabeth LaPensée. Imarisha is an educator, editor, writer, organizer and spoken word artist. LaPensée expresses herself through writing, design, and art in games, comics, and animation. The jury included Tiptree Motherboard members Alexis Lothian and Debbie Notkin, Tiptree Award winner Nisi Shawl, and inaugural Tiptree Fellow micha cárdenas.
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Jay Lake won this year’s Endeavour Award for his posthumous collection Last Plane to Heaven. The winner was announced at Orycon and the award comes with a $1,000 prize and an engraved glass plaque. The Endeavour Award was established to recognize works of SF by authors working and living in the Pacific Northwest. The judges for the 2015 Award were Russell Davis, Esther Friesner, and Fran Wilde
M. Aruguete won the ISFiC Writer’s Contest with her story “Catamount.” The contest is sponsored by ISFiC in conjunction with Windycon. Aruguete won a membership at Windycon, room nights, and $300. Her story was published in the con program book. This year’s contest was judged by Richard Chwedyk, Roland Green, and Elizabeth Anne Hull.
Swedish SF author Johan Frick (b.1966) died on November 14. Frick founded the Gothenburg outlet of the Science Fiction bookstore, published several short stories, and translated the works of Patricia McKillip into Swedish.
In response to the announcement that the World Fantasy Award would be retiring the bust of H.P. Lovecraft that it has been using, scholar and World Fantasy Award winner S. T. Joshi has announced that he will be returning his two awards, declining any future nominations, and refusing to attend any future World Fantasy Conventions. Joshi won the World Fantasy Award in the Special-Professional category in 2005 for scholarship and the Special-Non-Professional category in 2013 for Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, Volumes 1 & 2. He has been nominated three additional times.
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George R. R. Martin was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement on November 4 at Northwestern University, his alma mater. He was also honored on November 7 at the Northwestern football game against Penn State. The Medill Hall of Achievement was established in 1997 to honor Medill alumni whose distinctive careers have had positive impacts on their fields.
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